Home » Operations Management » Product And Period Costs

Product And Period Costs

September 14, 2023
Bill Kimball

It is considered a selling cost because I cannot complete the sale of the product if I cannot get it to the customer. In a manufacturing company, overhead is generally called manufacturing overhead. Any of these companies may just use the term overhead rather than specifying it as manufacturing overhead, service overhead, or construction overhead. Some people confuse overhead with selling and administrative costs. Overhead is part of making the good or providing the service, whereas selling costs result from sales activity and administrative costs result from running the business. All the period costs are recorded in the income statement and cash flow statement of the company.

These three inventory accounts are assets accounts that appear on the balance sheet. The costs of completed goods that are sold are recorded in the cost of goods sold account. Examples of product costs are direct materials, direct labor, and allocated factory overhead. Examples of period costs are general and administrative expenses, such as rent, office depreciation, office supplies, and utilities.

In short, all costs that are not involved in the production of a product are period costs. Some materials may become part of the finished product, but tracing those materials to a particular product would require more effort than is sensible.

They prepare trading account to record all incomes and expenses related to their manufacturing operations. In order that gross profit and net profit are appropriately reflected, it is important that costs are bifurcated correctly. Product costs are any costs incurred in the manufacture of a product.

7 How Product Costs Flow Through Accounts

Period costs are not assigned to one particular product or the cost of inventory like product costs. Therefore, period costs are listed as an expense in the accounting period in which they occurred. Product costs are also called inventoriable costs because these are the only costs that can be included in inventory on the balance sheet. When the products are sold, these costs are expensed as cost of goods sold. Period costs or period expenses are also very elaborative by just looking at the name. The name gives a clear idea that these costs are related to an entire period or financial year. Period costs are also an essential part of the cost and managerial accounting in any business entity.

All materials on termscompared.com is subject to copyright and cannot be copied and republished without proir written permission. Dummies has always stood for taking on complex concepts and making them easy to understand. Dummies helps everyone be more knowledgeable and confident in applying what they know.

  • Period costs are sometimes broken out into additional subcategories for selling activities and administrative activities.
  • If it is a product cost, determine if the cost is a direct material or direct labor.
  • Match each of the following accounts with the appropriate description that follows.
  • The units that remain in the closing inventory are treated as the asset of the company.
  • Indirect labor includes all the other wages and salaries paid to people who work in the production of the product but who are not touch or direct labor.
  • Product costs include all the direct and indirect costs of producing a product.

We stated that once a product has gone through the production process and is considered finished, no more product related costs can be added. We now know that those product costs are direct materials, direct labor and overhead. Therefore, once a product has been produced, we cannot add more cost. Distribution happens after the product is manufactured, so it cannot be a product cost.


The purpose of doing so is a more accurate representation of information. However, in most cases, there is a tradition of transferring period costs to operational costs. The core production activities and purchasing activities are the principal reasons of incurring product costs. Products costs are the costs that are incurred in the course of a manufacturing process and that can be related to the products manufactured. In the case of the travel mugs, these are the people who run the machines that mold the plastic. These are also the people who put the various pieces together by hand. The balance sheet is one of the three fundamental financial statements.

Product costs are generally variable or semi variable in nature as they are related to the production activity and vary in relation to the level of output. And the list goes on depending on the size, nature, and type of the business entity. Job costing is used when a specific order with special requirements or one client is placed. Period costs, on the other hand, are more fixed in nature as they do not vary directly with a change in the level of output.

Product costs are applied to the products the company produces and sells. Product costs refer to all costs incurred to obtain or produce the end-products. Examples of product costs include the cost of raw materials, direct labor, and overhead.

which of the following business operations has both product and period costs?

Selling expenses are costs incurred to obtain customer orders and get the finished product in the customers’ possession. Advertising, market research, sales salaries and commissions, and delivery and storage of finished goods are selling costs. The costs of delivery and storage of finished goods are selling costs because they are incurred after production has been completed. Therefore, the costs of storing materials are part of manufacturing overhead, whereas the costs of storing finished goods are a part of selling costs. Remember that retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, and service organizations all have selling costs. Period cost is any other cost that is incurred by the entity that does not directly relate to the entity’s manufacturing process.

What Is Included?

The units that remain in the closing inventory are treated as the asset of the company. These assets are recorded in the current assets of the balance sheet at the end of the year.

Just like the other employees in the list above, a janitor’s wages are hard to trace to the product and therefore, are not considered part of direct labor. To quickly identify if a cost is a period cost or product cost, ask the question, “Is the cost directly or indirectly related to the production of products? Production costs are usually part of the variable costs of business because the amount spent will vary in proportion to the amount produced.

These costs include direct materials, direct labor, and factory overhead. Table 1.4 “Accounts Used to Record Product Costs” summarizes the accounts used to track product costs. Figure 1.6 “Flow of Product Costs through Balance Sheet and Income Statement Accounts” shows how product costs flow through the balance sheet and income statement.

Chapter 1: Nature Of Managerial Accounting And Costs

Before the products are sold, these costs are recorded in inventory accounts on the balance sheet. Product costs are sometimes referred to as “inventoriable costs.” When the products are sold, these costs are expensed as costs of goods sold on the income statement. In general, overhead refers to all costs of making the product or providing the service except those classified as direct materials or direct labor. Manufacturing overhead costs are manufacturing costs that must be incurred but that cannot or will not be traced directly to specific units produced. In addition to indirect materials and indirect labor, manufacturing overhead includes depreciation and maintenance on machines and factory utility costs. Look at the following for more examples of manufacturing overhead costs. Companies also classify costs as product costs and period costs.

Let’s look at which costs are considered product costs and which are period costs and what defines each of these costs. The operating portion of AMD’s income statement follows—again, all amounts are in millions. Notice that cost of sales appears below net sales and above all other operating expenses.

How To Calculate Production Costs In Excel

Executive salaries, clerical salaries, office expenses, office rent, donations, research and development costs, and legal costs are administrative costs. As with selling costs, all organizations have administrative costs.

Product Costs Vs Period Costs

Period costs are accounted for as expenses in the profit and loss account. This treatment of period cost is in accordance with the accrual accounting principle. Period costs are all other costs incurred during the business operations of the entity but which are not related to the manufacturing process. Indirect materials are the materials that are too hard to trace to the product to be direct materials. This includes things like glue, solder (a low-melting alloy used to join metals together), and nails.

Your understanding of them will help clarify how product costs flow through the accounts and where product costs appear in the financial statements. When the financial statements are prepared, all the product costs will be transferred to inventories held by the company. The cost of 80 units will be transferred to the income statement and will be recorded as the cost of goods sold. The cost of the sold units can also be segregated as separate costs of material, labor, and overhead.

Product costs are sometimes broken out into the variable and fixed subcategories. This additional information is needed when calculating the break even sales level of a business.